A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
August 1, 2002
Learning From Mandela
by Michael P. Scott
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
I was just reading this book, and came across the following passage, which should demonstrate how little this administration has learned from (even recent) history:
I'd love to hear Mandela's take on the USA Patriot Act. Actually, I'd love to hear Mandela address the whole issue of terrorism, since his life story knocks Bush's simpleminded "good guys/bad guys" worldview into a cocked hat.
Now I happen to think Mandela is probably the greatest political leader of the 20th Century, but he spent decades behind bars because he refused to renounce violence in his attempts (ultimately successful) to overthrow the South African government (and thus end apartheid).
In other words, his government had designated him a "terrorist."
But Mandela's greatness wasn't completely evident until, after gaining first his freedom and then the leadership of a new multiracial South African government, he largely calmed a white minority into staying, offering amnesty through honest confession to the Truth Commissions.
In other words, once in office, he didn't act like the big bully, even though he had the power to do so.
Yeah, Mandela should speak out on this whole "war on terrorism" declaration. And Bush should just shut up, sit down, and listen.
Oh, and keep Karl Rove out of the room, too.
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Reader Michael P. Scott, Santa Rosa, CA
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